Last Friday I received a tweet and an email announcing three free shows to be played in NYC 03/30/2009 in rather intimate settings . Admission was free and seats were to be awarded by lottery. Each lucky winner would win a ticket for themselves and a named guest. I sent in an entry with BFF Kim as my guest, but was not one of the chosen ones. A dude from Chicago mentioned he won tickets and couldn't go. Duh, dude why did you enter if you couldn't make it on short notice?
Yesterday's first appearance was actually on The View where Warren, Bobby, & Phil played an acoustic Friend of the Devil. I wasn't able to catch it during work but some of the reviews by fans weren't flattering. Apparently they opened the show with Touch of Grey & that song choice was not popular among some of the hard-core old Deadheads. I actually used to refer to the newer Deadheads as Touch of Greyers, for those that got on the bus after 1986 or so. At the end of Friend of the Devil Whoopi gives away the latest Grateful Dead compiliation To Terrapin: Hartford, May 28, 1977 to the audience. Anyone who doesn't want their free copy can send it to me!!!
Here is a short clip of The View performance:
The first event kicked off at 5 PM and featured a short set at the intimate Angel Orensanz Center (200 people). It was all acoustic featuring Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Warren Haynes only.
Dire Wolf, Bird Song, Cumberland Blues, Pride of Cucamonga, Lazy River Road, Casey Jones
Next it was on to a full-band electric performance (the above trio joined by drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart and Jeff Chimenti on keyboards) at the Blender Theatre at Gramercy (600 people).
Jam > Playin' In The Band > Good Lovin' > The Wheel > Franklin's Tower
Encore: Touch Of Grey
The 11 PM finale was at the 2000 capacity Roseland Ballroom, once again featuring a full band electric performance.
Althea, Cassidy, Uncle John's Band, Eyes Of The World, St. Stephen > Dark Star > Sugar Magnolia, Not Fade Away
click here for an image of the Free the Dead ticket
Althea-Roseland Ballroom 03/30/2009
Eyes of the World Roseland Ballroom 03/30/2009
Cassidy-Roseland Ballroom 03/30/2009
Sugar Magnolia Roseland Ballroom 03/30/2009
I was able to follow along the twitter updates of Jambase, Grateful_dead, The Dead Blog, Relix Magazine and J Hochstat from Hidden Track/Glide Magazine. Not as good as actually being there but it got me excited for my Albany show in a little over two weeks. Several message boards mentioned that those who showed up at the venues ticketless were actually let in.
Click here for Jambase's article, The Dead: 3 Shows, 1 Day, featuring great pictures by Dino Perrucci. Not sure Im crazy about the lights on Phil Lesh's bass. Remember Phil, Lesh is More!!
Click here for Rolling Stone's coverage and here for an unflattering Village Voice blog post and here for Relix's recap.